12 September 2009

Learning to listen

Darcy Jame Argue has an excellent post on Jelly Roll Morton, but this passage struck a chord with me.
Listening to pre-WWII records is an act of imagination, and the further you go back, the more imagination it takes -- in order for you to really hear what's going on, your "mind's ear," so to speak, needs to fill in a lot. This is something that I think people who were born before 1960 or so don't fully grasp, because those people have completely different expectations when it comes to recorded music -- the technology was maturing at the same time they were. (I mean, the Beatles didn't fully embrace the radical concept of stereo until after the White Album.) Obviously, this is a vitally important skill that anyone who's serious about music needs to develop, but it doesn't come naturally to most. It takes a considerable amount of practice and effort to develop.
TNLD says read the post, then follow the links.

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